Bruv ain’t no Muslim

A witness to a knife attack came up with the perfect response for the Twitter generation

Police officers investigate a crime scene at Leytonstone underground station in east London. Neil Hall / Reuters
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When a knife-wielding man screamed "This is for Syria" and attacked fellow passengers on the London Underground on Sunday, most Muslims in Britain and around the world would have sighed with despair. Based on previous incidents, ignorant segments of society would blame the entire religion for the actions of one violent zealot.

But when one of those who watched the incident yelled “You ain’t no Muslim, bruv” in a thick London accent, it encapsulated the perfect response, both to this incident and to terrorism in general. It was no surprise that the phrase prompted a hashtag on Twitter that quickly went viral.

The encouraging part of this response is that it shows the public discussion about extremists using Islam to justify their violence is becoming more nuanced. It also showed that tactics designed to sow terror will be met with a defiant refusal to be intimidated or to taint an entire religion for the actions of a twisted few.